Hilsa, or Ilish, is to the Bengali what caviar is to the rest of the world. I'll let Wikipedia do the talking here - "Hilsa is not just a fish to the Bengalis. It is a part of their culture." We fry it, we eat the eggs, we put it in mustard gravies, and we even make biryani out of it!
But today's recipe is the more common and more simple, Ilish Maachher Shorshe Jhol. I will not waste too much time trying to think of things to say about the Hilsa, and just get on with the recipe instead :-)
Hilsa (4-5 pieces)
Black cumin seeds
Ground mustard seeds
Ground green chillies
Whole green chillies, split lengthwise
Wash and rub the hilsa pieces with salt and turmeric. Shallow fry in oil and keep aisde. Heat oil in a wok and add the black cumin seeds. Let them splutter. Add 2-3 green chillies and fry for a bit. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, and fry. Add the mustard paste and the green chilli paste.
Add water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and add the fishes to the gravy. Let the gravy simmer for 8-10 minutes and serve hot with steamed rice.